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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Analysis Essay

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Have you ever been so focused on achieving your dreams that you become unaware of your current situation? When we focus on the goals ahead of us, we fail to see the obstacles and dangers that are in front of us. In order to achieve our goals we involuntarily put ourselves in an unwanted situation. Connie, herself, struggles to achieve her goal of being a desirable girl that turns heads when she walks into the room. She becomes so set on being this girl that she doesn’t realize the danger of the situation. In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Oates utilizes metaphors, diction, and imagery to show how Connie is in a constant tug between her reality and her dreams, and how this confines her freedoms in a world that is surrounded with malevolence.
Oates uses a metaphor to the Garden of Eden to emphasize Arnold Friend’s deceptive and malevolent ways and how his deception made Connie imagine things. Throughout the story, Connie proves to be so naïve to the dangers in her world, that all she sees is the fact that a guy is paying attention to her. You see this in the beginning of the story (Oates 505-508) when Connie and her friends go to the drive-in restaurant, and a boy named Eddie invites her to go get something to eat. She becomes so engulfed in the moment that a guy noticed her that she doesn’t realize that a guy with shaggy hair is staring at her. When Connie finally comes back down to Earth she realizes him looking at her and he sneers and tells her “Gonna get you, baby.” Connie turns away and continues as she was. Later on in the story when we find out that this shaggy haired guy is Arnold Friend, you start to see him show characteristics like that of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. On a Sunday when Connie was by h...


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...Joan. "The Shadow of a Satyr in Oates `Where Are You Going, Where...” Studies in Short Fiction 27.4 (1990): 537-544.Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Gillis, Christina Marsden. "'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?': Seduction, Space, And A Fictional Mode." Studies In Short Fiction 18.1 (1981): 65. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 May 2014.
Gratz, David K. "Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?." Explicator45.3 (1987): 55-56. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Oates, Carol Joyce. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?." Kirszner and Mandell. 505-516. Compact Literature. Boston: Wadsworth,2013,2012,2007. Print.
Urbanski, Marie Mitchell Olesen. "Existential Allegory: Joyce Carol Oates's 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?'." Studies in Short Fiction 15.2 (1978): 200-203. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.



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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been Analysis Essay - Have you ever been so focused on achieving your dreams that you become unaware of your current situation. When we focus on the goals ahead of us, we fail to see the obstacles and dangers that are in front of us. In order to achieve our goals we involuntarily put ourselves in an unwanted situation. Connie, herself, struggles to achieve her goal of being a desirable girl that turns heads when she walks into the room. She becomes so set on being this girl that she doesn’t realize the danger of the situation....   [tags: joyce oates, eden garden, focus]
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